Ellie and Abbie slacking on the job.

Ellie and Abbie slacking on the job.

At 1-Stop Design Shop, while we are cranking out creative websites, money making marketing plans and designing print projects for clients big and small—we have four furry friends walking among us. And no, one of them is not our Senior Web Developer! Occasionally there are five of man’s best friend, well I suppose it would be three of man’s best friend and two cats. I’m not quite sure why the cats get the short end of that deal but they do. More than 400 companies — among them Google Inc. (GOOG) — have listed themselves as dog-friendly. We would consider ourselves dog and cat friendly. If you visit our office on any given day you will be welcomed by one of our cats or dogs. We have Ellie a six year old black lab mix who I rescued at 15 weeks old through American Lab Rescue. She had been rescued with her Mum and 10 siblings, only hours before being put to sleep. We had lost our dog of 14 years a month earlier. While she loved her new home, she seemed to be missing companionship. After fostering several dogs over the next 2 years, we finally made Abbie (a pure bred lab) a permanent part of the family after fostering her, she was 6 months old. She had never lived inside before, living in the streets with her 11 brothers and sisters and mother. She’s a very gentle and grateful dog.

Sadie doing some filing.

Sadie doing some filing.

Zoie is a two year old mackerel cat, who came to us through tragedy. I had offered to foster her through her birth to give the kittens a better chance outside of the shelter. Unfortunately she arrived to me in distress and was rushed to the hospital where she lost the kittens and underwent life saving surgery. The hope was to keep one of the kittens so it was a difficult time for my two children but Zoie championed in the end. She’s a strong willed girl. Less than a year later we rescued an eight week old kitten who we named Sadie. She came from a home in foreclosure with 48 cats. She’s a beautiful tortoise shell and is now 8 months old. I’m explaining each one’s background so you understand the gratitude they have in their eyes when they get to hang out in our office, walk on our desks, sit on our keyboards, and be our mascots. These four animals almost were “not” but now they “are” and they thank us every day by making us laugh, relax or sometimes even yell! (Sandra does most of that when Sadie tries to climb up her leg.)

Zoie checking inventory.

Zoie checking inventory.

A survey by Simply Hired and Dogster, an online site, found a third of dog-owners would take a 5 percent pay cut to take their pets to work, two-thirds would work longer hours and half would switch jobs. I’m not sure if this is true or not but I know I’m happier with my animals around me and so are they. We’ve had many different furry friends here in the office over the years off and on which has always been a treat for the girls. To name a few there has been Sandra’s Raven and Gail’s Zeus.
So if you’re a business owner and toying with allowing pets, I’d say give it a shot…you might be pleasantly surprised. Just make sure you’re ready to vacuum more frequently!
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